Pension & Benefits News 2018-2019 IRS Priority Guidance Plan includes many employee benefits projects
Thursday, November 29, 2018

2018-2019 IRS Priority Guidance Plan includes many employee benefits projects

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

Numerous employee benefits projects are included in the IRS’s 2018-2019 Priority Guidance Plan. The Plan describes areas in which the IRS intends to issue final regulations, proposed regulations, and other guidance, including regularly scheduled guidance, such as interest rates and COLAs. The Plan also includes burden reduction projects. The IRS notes that it may update the Plan during the plan year to reflect additional items that have become priorities and guidance that the IRS has issued during the plan year. The plan continues to prioritize the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) and to reflect the deregulatory policies and reforms described in Executive Orders 13789 and 13777.

Regs slated to be finalized. In the retirement benefits area, the IRS plans to deliver regulations on:

  • the application of the normal retirement age regulations under Code Sec. 401(a) to governmental plans;
  • rules applicable to ESOPs;
  • life expectancy and distribution period tables for purposes of the required minimum distribution rules;
  • IRAs;
  • notice requirements under Code Sec. 411(a)(11);
  • the definition of governmental plan under Code Sec. 414(d);
  • reporting requirements under Code Sec. 6057; and
  • updates to the minimum present value requirements for defined benefit plans under Code Sec. 417(e).

Other pension guidance anticipated. Other pension guidance anticipated to be released includes the following issues:

  • the use of lump-sum payments to replace lifetime income being received by retirees under defined benefit plans under Code Sec. 401(a)(9);
  • hardship distributions under Code Sec. 401(k) to reflect modifications made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018;
  • the universal availability requirement under Code Sec. 403(b);
  • the treatment of future interest credits under a hybrid defined benefit plan for qualification requirements;
  • unified plan rule for Code Sec. 413(c) multiple employer plans;
  • the aggregation rules under Code Sec. 414(m);
  • lifetime income from retirement plans and IRAs; and
  • missing participants.

Exec comp, health care and other guidance. Also included in the 2018-2019 Priority Guidance Plan are items in the executive compensation, health care and other benefits, and employment taxation areas. Among these items are:

  • regulations under Code Secs. 119 and 132 on employer-provided meals;
  • revenue ruling under Code Sec. 419A on the definition of post-retirement medical benefits;
  • final regulations on income inclusion and other issues under Code Sec. 409A;
  • regulations amending Reg. Sec. 1.419A-2T relating to collectively-bargained welfare benefit funds;
  • final regulations under Code Sec. 457(f) and related guidance on ineligible plans; and
  • guidance on issues under Code Sec. 4980H relating to shared responsibility for employers regarding health coverage.

SOURCE: 2018-2019 Priority Guidance Plan. 

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